Offenders on the Loose: Pemberton’s Five Worst Weeds

Breaking news: five invasive plant species are on the run in Pemberton. The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council(SSISC) is requesting the public’s help to report sightings of these offenders. Your reward? Ecological justice. 

Many of you may know that weedy invasive plants can cause a great deal of ecological and economic damage to the local communities, not to mention health concerns. Accordingly, SSISC invites the public to help prevent the spread of invasive species and eradicate infestations by reporting sightings of Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Blackberry, Wild Parsnip, Scotch Broom, and Common Bugloss. 

Feeling a little rusty on your plant identification skills? SSISC has got you covered with their new and improved Pemberton’s Five Worst Weeds campaign. The program aims to raise awareness about species that have the potential to cause damage to infrastructure, waterways, plants and wildlife, and human health. While there are far more than 5 invasive plant species present in the Pemberton area, these 5 species exist in limited distributions. With your help, their eradication is still possible.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s bust these invasive plant outlaws! 

Click on the species below to find detailed information on each, and report sightings here.

Japanese Knotweed:

  • Zig-zag branches produce heart-shaped leaves with somewhat flat bases and white, showy flowers. 
    • Bamboo-like stems are hollow and covered with reddish-brown spots. 
    • Causes significant harm to ecosystems, by eroding soil and reducing biodiversity, and damage to infrastructure. 

Himalayan Blackberry:

  • Strongly angled stems produce egg-shaped, sharp toothed leaves with a pointed tip and fuzzy underside. 
    • Whitish-pink flowers turn to black, shiny, hairless berries when ripe. 
    • Dense thickets outcompete native plants and take over riparian environments, impeding wildlife and human access to water. 

Wild Parsnip:

  • The longitudinally-ridged stem ends in an umbrella-like cluster of tiny yellow flowers.
    • Causes severe skin blistering if skin is exposed to light.
    • Impacts agriculture by reducing crop quality and livestock foraging resources. 

Scotch Broom:

  • Woody, dense stems hold small leaves and bright yellow, pea-like flowers. 
    • Produces dense monocultures which increase wildlife fuel loads and inhibits forest re-generation.

Common Bugloss:

  • Coiled flower clusters extend to display small, purple to blue flowers with distinctive white throats.
    • Both the stem and fleshy leaves are covered in hair. 
    • The toxic plant forms dense stands that reduce crop yields and livestock foraging resources. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s